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August 20, 2004, Volume 4 Number 34


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

If for some reason you are unable to make it down to the Palm Cafe (in the Outrigger Guam Resort) this week during lunch or dinner, please send a friend or someone you love so that they can both thank you and tell you what you missed!

Visiting guest chef and author Heinz von Holzen of Bali's preeminent cooking school, Bumbu Bali, has prepared a feast from the Island of Gods that local residents can enjoy. I've been promoting this extraordinary culinary opportunity for the past two weeks and have had some folks tell me they don't care for "spicy" foods. I told them that I understand their concern, but that they should know there is a difference between "spicy" foods and "spiced" foods. The Balinese cuisine prepared by Chef Heinz is "spiced", which means that you will be able to taste and appreciate the rich and full flavors of the spices used.

In Bali, the 5 "bumbus" (spice pastes) used in cooking are Basic Spice Paste (Base Gede), Spice Paste for Vegetables (Base Jukut), Spice Paste for Beef (Base be Sampi), Spice Paste for Chicken (Base be Siap), and Spice Paste for Seafood (Base be Pasih). At Bumbu Bali Cooking School, students learn how to make these bases from scratch. The Basic Spice Paste is made with large red chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, lesser galangal, turmeric, candlenuts, shrimp paste, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves coconut oil, water and salt. Chef Heinz has brought plenty of bumbus to make the entrees served in the Balinese buffet at the Outrigger's Palm Cafe.

I urge you to treat yourself to the excellent taste adventure awaiting you at the Palm Cafe during Heinz's visit. Who knows, you might be the lucky winner in a drawing for a round trip for Two to Bali courtesy of Continental Airlines. Then you could go to the Bumbu Bali Cooking School and learn to make your own Spice Base. Take heed of that famous foodie slogan - "Spice gives variety to life!"

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Uncle Bob's Opens New Location - Feast on Beef in Anigua
  • A Taste of Bali Continues through Sunday August 21 - Palm Cafe, Outrigger Guam
  • Around the Island - Baskin Robbins to Close, New Restaurants, Planet Hollywood
  • Yuan San Chinese Seafood Restaurant -New & Improved Lunch Buffet

Uncle Bob's Opens New Location - Feast on Beef in Anigua

Uncle Bob's recently held a very soft opening and is now offering a lunch buffet and a limited a la carte dinner menu that includes Porterhouse and Sirloin steaks for $14, a 28 oz T-Bone for $30, a 24 oz Bone-in Ribeye Steak for $28, some burgers, and a Seafood Fettuccine ($11). I've been inside the "color you can't miss building" in Anigua near Siam Cuisine and though I've not yet eaten, I have heard some enthusiastic feedback from diners who have. Uncle Bob's has to be the ultimate in 'laid back" eateries, with a casual, comfortable semi-tropical ambiance with maritime poster art adorning the walls. The dining room is fully separated from a large lounge that has a bar and two pool tables. I'm pretty sure it's going to be quite busy with some of the Kitty Hawk sailors who are visiting this week, since this new location is close to some of the island's popular night spots. Uncle Bob's will be expanding its menu to include some American-style BBQ, something that has long been in demand. For more information, call 477-2298.

A Taste of Bali Continues through Sunday August 21 - Palm Cafe, Outrigger Guam

There are only a few remaining chances left to experience the exquisite Balinese cuisine prepared by Chef Heinz von Holzen, owner of the Bumbu Bali Cooking School in Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali. Chef Heinz is a visiting guest chef at the Outrigger's Palm Cafe, which is an ideal setting for a meal that inspires. From appetizers, salads, main entrees, to desserts, diners are treated to a variety of spiced meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes. The Chicken and Beef Satay skewers have been the most popular and they are hard-pressed to meet their demand. (It's coincidental that these same Satay skewers are "hand-pressed" on the sticks prior to barbecuing!) Among the meats cooked in rich, spice-based pastes, are lamb, beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. The Be Celeng Base Manis (Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce) has been a hit, as has been the Be Siap Base Kalas (Chicken in Spiced Coconut Sauce). Many more items than I can list are awaiting you, with meal-ending desserts that have caused sensations like Black Rice Pudding, Coconut Pancakes, and Dumplings in Palm Sugar which are all must-haves!

The following are three events* where you can partake of Chef Von Holzen's savory Balinese creations:

BALINESE LUNCH BUFFET
Friday August 20
11 am - 2 pm
Adults - 12.50/Children (4-12) $8.50

BALINESE DINNER BUFFET**
Thursday - Friday, August 19-20
6 pm - 10 pm
Adults $22.00/ Children (4-12) $11.95

PRIME RIB & CRAB DINNER BUFFET
Saturday, August 21, featuring Balinese Delicacies
6 pm - 10 pm
Adults $26.95/ Children (4-12) $14.95

*A 10% service charge will be added to all meals
**Friday Buffet to include Outrigger's Chamoru Hafa Adai Specialties

For reservations, call 649-9000. Be sure to fill out the entry form for the Round Trip For 2 to Bali, Courtesy of Continental Airlines.

Around the Island - Baskin Robbins to Close, New Restaurants, Planet Hollywood

We heard from a reader about the imminent closure of the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Stores and Dunkin Donuts on Guam as of the end of August. His communication, with the corporate entity that owns the brand, indicated that they were not seeking another franchisee to take over selling the popular ice cream and donuts. This is too bad as Baskin Robbins makes an excellent ice cream which is also very popular in Japan. Concerned ice cream lovers are urged to contact Paul Leech, Vice President of Allied Domecq at pleech@adrus.com

I haven't had a chance to check some of the newer restaurants on island just yet but for your information here are the names and phone numbers of some of the most recent ones I've noted: Tra-Vinh Restaurant, a Vietnamese place in Agat, 565-1700 and Synergy Cafe, a healthy choices cafe in Maite, 472-YOGA.

Planet Hollywood says it is not too early to make plans for that holiday party and they stand ready to help make it a memorable celebration. Did you know that full use of their state-of-the-art audio visual system is included? In addition to a selection of set menus, full buffet spreads or special menus; they also can accommodate outside catering. Call them at 647-STAR to talk about your party plans.

Yuan San Chinese Seafood Restaurant -New & Improved Lunch Buffet

It was a craving for a particular noodle soup that drew me to the extensive lunch buffet at the Yuan San Chinese Seafood Restaurant located on the 2nd floor of Tumon's Grand Plaza Hotel. Although it's been a while since my last review, I still remember the tantalizing flavor of the tender beef stew simmered in Chinese Five-Spice powder, which combines star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and Sichuan pepper. The beef is added to a bowl of steaming noodles and sliced green onions to make what I considered "comfort food". So it was no surprise that my first stop at the Yuan San was the soup station, where I piled on the spiced beef. While there, I noticed a second soup kettle, which contained a wonderful pork stew that was simmered with kang kong. It was equally good, and merited a second trip.

Yuan San has in the last few months launched a "New & Improved" Buffet for both lunch and dinner services. During my first review, Yuan San had an extremely popular Chinese Lunch Buffet. Although I don't think the number of entrees served in the buffet line has increased, I did notice some enhancements to the salad bar and the dessert station.

Before I continue, I need to explain my belief that Chinese food, like most other cuisine types, is best enjoyed when served fresh and a la carte. However, when dining alone there is no better way to get the variety and number of entrees than in a buffet line. Fortunately, the food in the Yuan San buffet line's chafing dishes didn't have to sit too long since most are depleted and replenished quickly.

There are eight chafing dishes in Yuan San's hot food line, and contain White Steamed Rice, Combination Fried Rice, Pancit, Roast Duck, Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, Sauteed Chicken with Mushrooms, Sauteed Mixed Vegetables, Steamed Tilapia with Ginger Sauce, and Spicy Pork with Sichuan Pickles. Some of these dishes may vary depending on availability, however, they always have steamed fish and either a roast duck or chicken. Truthfully, my buffet line choices were second to my preoccupation with the soups. Both vats of the beef and pork soups had long simmered to render them utterly tender, with the Chinese Five Spice-infused beef satisfying my craving.

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Bon appetit!

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